March 2011

What else can we learn from only child research?

Part 2 In the previous post: Research in the West and China – are only children different? I discussed the rather contradictory facts from the research carried out by both US and Chinese researchers. Let us look at these contradictions further and see what we may learn. If we look at China: Poston & Falbo’s criticised the Chinese psychologists for holding negative stereotypes of only-children, as they did in their US research. Similarly they conclude that only-children are at a slight advantage over those with siblings, as they stated in the US. But it appears to me, that research, at least in China, has been politically useful with regard to the one-child policy and of course this is publically funded which I image is also the case in the US. What is particularly interesting to me is the cultural bias all research contains. In China where collectivism and achievement is [...]

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The negative side of being special: How a lack of de-thronement, by a sibling, can affect us in adulthood.

All children need to feel special particularly from their parents. In fact one of the advantages of being brought up an only child is often considered to be the extra attention you receive. The assumption is that the more attention the better and this can lead the only child to feel particularly ‘special’. I mean special in the old fashioned sense of a child who is very much loved and nurtured. However the special child can also be the child whose parent’s are blind to behaviours the child acquires as a result of their attention, which are not useful as the child moves from childhood to adolescence and finally to adulthood. With no siblings to counteract the sense of specialness that an only child experiences within the family, it can be a rude awakening to enter the real world where people are not going to treat you in this way. [...]

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I feel so solitary with aged parents

At this moment in time I have just scanned the web as I am just overwhelmed 
with the shear scale of emotional and physical support required of me to
 support my parents aged 81 and 80 years old, I have just put the telephone 
down at 10.00pm after my father has rung me saying he does not know what to do with my mother who is crying and in pain. I am at 56 year of age, just being able to enjoy life after working hard but being pulled back again and again, more and more to help my parents. Its has been so hard to show love for the both of them now, when they both
so desperately need it and I have to forgive and forget all the years that
went before when all I needed was a cuddle from them.

I know I sound selfish and just at the moment [...]

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